5/27/2012

Week 22

Weather: Temps 60-65 degrees, winds calm at around 5 mph, No rain overnight.

Gear: Kelty Noah's 12 Tarp, ENO SingleNest hammock, Snugpak Travelpak Extreme.

Comments:  Last night was a beautiful night to be sleeping outside, and I did it with my new Kelty Noah's 12 Tarp. This tarp is so huge, I feel like instead of having a tarp for my hammock, I have a hammock for my tarp. The tarp came in the mail Thursday, and after getting some braided masons line, I set it up on Friday and kept it up through this morning. Though it didn't rain last night, there was some rain on Friday night, and it poured yesterday morning. The tarp, contrary to some reviews that it "leaked like a sieve" Didn't leak a drop. I set it up as a rectangle, and this allowed for two side tie outs on both sides to give some more space. I could easily get my hammock, two folding chairs, and two or three sets of gear under it. Check out my full review for more info and pictures.

Other than the new tarp, I don't have much to talk about. My dad decided he would try his rig out last night in preparation for a trip we have planned for next Tuesday, but ended up bailing about 1:30 due to inexperience. He had some cold spots and a few other minor "new hanger syndromes". Over all though, he said he liked it, and hes working on educating himself with Shug's youtube videos

5/20/2012

Week 21

Weather: temps 45-70 degrees, wind varrying in strength, gusts of 35 mph, Heavy, prolonged rain showers with occasional thunder and lightning.

Gear: ENO Singlenest hammock, ENO Dryfly, Snugpak Travelpak Extreme.

Comments: I got out camping this weekened and two words will describe the entire weekend- miserably fun. I got a good test of my gear- heavy rain, strong wind, and bugs. The Snugpak sleeping bag has a bugnet built into the mumoe hood that zips up when your in it, fully enclosing your body. Sleeping with a baseball cap to keep the netting off my face, I kept everything off me.
Ive learned that just because highs are in the 80s doesnt mean I should only pack shorts- the temps dropped into the 40s during the rain, and my legs were eaten by mosquitoes no matter where I went.
I had my hammock set up right next to a beautiful, clear, smooth lake. Words cant explain the amazing sight of waking up to an orange sun peaking over picturesque pine trees, turning the clouds shades of red and purple. We arrived friday night in the rain, and left sunday morning in the rain. This meant that after about ten minutes of getting a natural shower while setting my gear up, I was swingly comfortably in my hammock, smiling as my friends attempted to set up 6-person basecamp style tents, Fighting over the drier ground. This (sunday) morning, I woke up, ate my breakfast and help clean up around camp before going for a little snooze as my buddies packed their tents away in the rain. I think Ive made a fair share of hammock-converts this weekend :).
The only problem I had was bugs. Its not the most convient thing to slip into a sleeping bag and zip yourself up just to sit in your hammock. Im going today to get some permethrin to apply to my stuff before my next outing. (If I apply now to my hammock, do you think it will last a summer where I will spend maybe 20-30 nights in it? or will I need to re-apply halfway through?)

5/13/2012

Week 20

Weather: Temps 50-60 degrees, wind 1 mph, no percipitation

Gear: ENO singlenest hammock, Snugpak travelpak extreme.

Comments:  Yup, just a hammock and a sleeping bag.
Last night was a beautiful night to sleep out. The winds were barley existent at 1 mph and with no chance of rain, I was able to fall asleep looking at stars instead of fabric for a change. (quick update- the tarp I want will have to wait a little bit because I have quote "better things to spend my money on".) So anyway, it was so nice out yesterday I couldnt resist souping up the ole hammock. I decided to add a ridgeline to jt, a task that had for some reason daunted me since I started hanging. The I sewed myself a little pocket and attached it to the line via prussics. I added a few nite-ize figure 9 biners and wala, I have a fully functional ridgeline.
Now I can see why people have an issue with the singlenest hammock though. Ive always been fine with it, but thats because I stretch it too tight I guess. Now that I have it hanging at the proper angles, I am very uncomfortable laying bannana style like I used to... and the hammock is quite narrow. So well see how it all works out. Im considering possibly putting in a little footbox but thats a bit beyond my sewing skills.
I dont want this post to go on too long so I am just quickly going to add that I succesfully took my two layers of clothing and 30 (50 on my count) degree bag down to 47 degrees with no underquilt

Here are pictures of my ridgeline mods..

 the ridgeline with diy organizer
a few s biners for ataching various things

5/06/2012

Week 19

Weather: Temps 55-60, winds 40 mph, gusting to 55, severe thunderstorms and constant heavy rain.

Gear: ENO singlenest hammock, dryfly, snugpak extreme travelpak sleeping bag.

Comments: It rained last night- and when I say rain, I mean there were puddles 2-3 inches deep all over the place. It rained most of the day saturday, quit for a little in the afternoon, and started up again around 10:00. The severe stuff rolled in around 2:00 and lasted about an hour. I will post the video I shot later if I remember.
I learned two things last night. First was that when it comes to nights where winds are gusting to almost 60 mph and there is an almost constant downpour of heavy rain, the dryfly tarp is not going to make the cut. Its perfect for light summer sprinkles, but it wont do in spring storms. I will be upgrading my tarp to a Chinook 12x9.5, which I hope to have in my hands for next week.
I also learned the importance of using a garbage bag to prevent rain from soaking your gear. Though I was off the ground, my stuff was sitting in puddles on the ground last night, and it isn't fun to pit shoes with an inch of water in them on in the morning. I will carry a garbage bag in my pack from now on to toss everything i want dry into at night.